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In need of Super 11 lathe help real bad !

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  • In need of Super 11 lathe help real bad !

    After looking forever, I found and just picked up a Maximat Super 11 on Friday. Aside from the paint being in really tough shape, the spindle had about 0.0002" TIR and the ways looked pretty good. Compound, cross and tailstock handwheels were sluggish but after a clean and lube they are like silk again.

    But now the horror story begins:

    The longitudinal feed pinion gear meshes poorly with the rack. At first it looked like the rack was worn but after taking the carriage off and inspecting and cleaning it, horror has struck. I'm thinking that maybe the ways have SO MUCH wear that the front of the carriage has dropped by upwards of 0.030" ... yikes !

    If I indicate the front, flat tailstock way, I get about 0.008" change over the roughly 1" span when moving the cross slide from FRONT to REAR. It takes a feeler gauge of over 0.030" under the front V way to make the flat way read almost flat ! I'm assuming that the flat ways are always parallel to the bench surface ... is this a safe assumption ?

    Putting a ground straight edge on the front way over a 24" span from under the chuck to 24" out, NO gap appears. Flipped the straight edge to be sure.

    How can the ways be totally without bow yet 0.030" or more is worn off the front way unless ... somebody took a grinder to it.

    FYI, one other thing ... the cross slide itself looks good front to back. 0.00015" deviation across a 2" region of the spindle (camlock) face).

    What do you lathe rebuilding gurus think about this ? HELP

    For Super 11 owners, are your front and back flat ways at exactly the same height ?

    Sorry for so many questions but I'm in tough shape ... mother nature also blew about 3 feet of snow over my only access path to get this thing back into my car to (maybe) return within the next few weeks.


  • #2
    If you decide to keep the lathe, you are in for a heck of a lot of work and a long term project. I strongly recommend that you obtain a copy of Edward Connelly's book "Machine Tool Reconditioning", it is advertised in HSM and well worth the cost.
    It is highly unlikely that all the wear is in the bed, more likely most of the wear is in the carriage, and it has dropped , a lot in this case. The carriage height can be restored using Turcite, Rulon, or Garlock Multifil Tape, and then scraped to fit.
    I think I would ask the seller what kind of life this machine had, that seems to be a lot of wear for a relatively "new" machine.


    • #3
      Don't panic. The 30 thou wear you suggest could not have happened uniformly over the bed length. Take a parallel and mount it in a four jaw and do some measurements from that. Correct for any error in the chuck by rotating 180 and retaking measurements. This won't cover the whole bed, but it will give you and idea of what is going on near the spindle. To check the whole bed you need a known good test bar.


      • #4
        Beckley23: Under the carriage you can see where the Vee way has worn into it but there was only about a 0.004" ridge visible. I'm now wondering now if that "ridge" wasn't actually a recess before. I'll have to re-measure things tomorrow night.

        The bed is hardened and perhaps most of the wear is in fact in the carriage. If that proves to be the case, I may be able to replace the carriage.

        Bruce: The spindle runout was excellent and I can indicate a flat area on the spindle face while moving the cross slide from front to back ... around 0.00015" difference over 2". This would seem to indicate that wear in the carriage has, at least, not affected the cross slide being very square to the spindle axis.


        [This message has been edited by nheng (edited 12-08-2003).]


        • #5
          Hey Den, maybe congradulations are premature!!! Ain't used machines just grand?

          On my S-11, the front and rear v-ways are different heights. I sure hope they are supposed to be that way. I ended up leveling using some parallels on the flats.

          The spindle run out is actually encouraging given the other figures you've noted. Make sure to check the level adjusting screws (assuming you have a factory cabinet) under the bed at each end. You may have some hellatious twist going on.

          Reason I say that is I don't see how you can get .008" variance from the front of the flat to the rear of that same flat. Particularly if you measured that .008" near the headstock, as the tailstock is what rides on that flat and shouldn't put wear in that location. Thats if I understand correctly from your first post. I also have a hard time accepting .030" of wear for a machine of that age and with the hardened bed and all. While possible, it just seems excessive to me.

          It'll be interesting to see how this turns out.



          • #6

            30 thou sounds like an awful lot of wear, and the rest of the machine doesn't seem to reflect this. Could it be that the saddle is not the original one? Just a thought.

            All of the gear, no idea...


            • #7
              DON'T PANIC

              That's the biggest and friendliest letters I have.

              Call Blue Ridge Machine and explain your story. I would also call the Emco office in Columbus Ohio. They should be able to help you sort this out.

              I measured my Super 11 CD and there is a significant difference between the height of the ways from front to back. Mine is a new machine, so it is probably normal.

              If you lightly lock down the carriage clamping screw, does the resistance of the carriage remain the same over the whole length of the bed when the carriage is moved? I'll bet the bed is fine.

              Give them a call, you'll get it fixed, and then we won't be able to shut you up when you keep telling us how great the machine is. :-)

              Keep the faith. I think you will find that you bought a good machine after all.



              • #8
                Used machines are grand the same way my son's first '92 Saab with 160k is grand

                Ian: That's a thought but the paint is uniformly bad

                Jon, Marv: The front Vee under the carriage has so much wear that the carriage seems to be either just touching or starting to touch the tailstock flat.

                It's good to know that the front and back flats are at different heights. That is a big help.

                The 0.008" is almost unbelievable and it seems to take around 0.030" on the way (about 0.042 vertical drop assuming 45 deg. Vee) to cancel it out !!!

                I got a good price on the machine and will price out a carriage, then measure some more to see if the ways are worth it.

                Marv: I did tighten up the carriage and it will bind as it travels right but doesn;t take much to free it. Don't forget, the cast iron "finger" which grab under the front edge are probably somewhat distorted with the extra 0.04-ish of vertical wear.

                Thanks to all !


                [This message has been edited by nheng (edited 12-08-2003).]


                • #9
                  Have you tried indicating a rod held between centers to see whether the ways are parallel to the axis of the spindle?


                  • #10
                    My suggestion with the parallel was to check the ways, not the spindle runout. I meant to mount the parallel with the long axis parallel to the ways. If you have a long parallel you trust, you can check the ways for a distance of a several inches. The measurement can be pretty precise if done this way. Not hard to try either.


                    • #11
                      Bruce: Thanks for the clarification. I was wondering if that was what you meant. Unfortunately, I don't have any workholding items for this machine yet.

                      It appears that the carriage is toast and I'm getting a replacement price. Looks like about 0.04" vertical drop which is also screwing up the long. feed pinion big time


                      • #12
                        It looks like you have decided to keep this machine, so here's a suggestion which won't cost you much and may save you a lot.

                        I'd first contact the seller to let him know you've discovered a serious problem, and want some time to check it out with the option of returning it if it cannot be fixed at a reasonable cost.

                        Since the ways appear to be good and the carriage seems to be worn, clean up the carriage where it rides on the ways. Bond on some shim stock (brass, steel, or whatever) to return the carriage to its original position. Reinstall the carriage, and see how the lathe works. The shims will probably wear quicker than what was originally there, but the change that takes place during a typical project won't be enough to cause a problem. As long as the cross-slide moves perpendicular to the spindle axis and everything is tight, what harm will a little drop in the front of the carriage cause, since it's going to be constant over the longitudinal travel.

                        Based on how the lathe works with the shims in place, you can make a decision to return it, get a new carriage, or make a note to change the shims every six months, every year, or whenever required. At least it will give you a chance to evaluate the performance of the rest of the machine.

                        Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.


                        • #13
                          I would try to repair the carriage. If you are thinking of replacing the carriage anyway - you have very little to loose except time and a little $. I suggest you look into turcite. This link gives an idea of how to do the process.



                          • #14
                            I've got a used Super 11 also and I find it hard to believe that either the bed or carrage is worn as much as you describe. The beds are hardened and if the felt wipers under the carrage are working most of any grit should be kept away from it. In any event if the carrage is worn, just purchase that lower part you need and re-use the rest. Blue Ridge machine sometimes will wheel and deal on prices, if you are purchasing a lot of parts ( and I did). I had to replace the main gearbox gears that drive the power feed to the price of about $300 +. Good luck.
                            Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Fine Line Automation CNC 4x4 Router


                            • #15
                              It sounds to me like something else is going on,I don't think that hard ways would produce that much wear in a saddle,anyway we got an 150 year old plus machine with soft ways that doesn't have that much.

                              It sounds to me like you have either a married machine or a bent feed rod,something is lifting the carrage.

                              Is it possilbe to run the machine?If so I would chuck op a test bar the max length of the bed and take trial cuts a several places,this will tell you more than anything.
                              I just need one more tool,just one!